|Subject: Miss Massachusetts USA News Article
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Date Posted: 21:27:38 12/07/05 Wed
Being Miss Massachusetts USA means knowing who you are
By Jeanne M. Rideout/ Correspondent
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Being crowned Miss Massachusetts USA has many tangible rewards - the tiara, the roses, the applause.
Yet the greatest reward for 2006 Miss Massachusetts USA Tiffany Kelly of Braintree is the opportunity to develop poise and confidence and to learn the wisdom of the truism, "To thine own self be true."
Tiffany, 18, anticipates being a spokesperson for charity and being able to share all she has learned with others.
Every one of the contestants for Miss Massachusetts USA was a winner, Tiffany said.
"Every single girl there had amazing strength and amazing courage. They all walked away smiling, and they walked away with more confidence and with more friends," Tiffany said.
The confidence gained by participating in the pageant is a lifelong asset, according to Tiffany.
"You may later in life face an important interview and feel like you can�t do it. Then you remind yourself that if you can walk out in front of 1,000 people in high heels and a bathing suit, you can do anything," Tiffany said.
Most importantly, Tiffany wants to bring the message to young people how important it is to know yourself and be true to yourself.
"Knowing what type of person you are is so important. Teens are bombarded with choices every day. Each day becomes a little harder. If you can just stay strong enough not to compromise yourself, if you remind yourself of your dreams and your goals and don�t compromise who you are or your morals or your values, you�ll never wake up with any regrets," Tiffany said.
A 2005 graduate of Thayer Academy, Tiffany is currently in her freshman year at Gordon College, majoring in Movement Science. She was attracted to her goal of becoming a chiropractor because of "the healing power of that profession."
Tiffany will have an opportunity to give motivational talks to girls. Part of her message will be that knowing who you are as a student is a big factor in academic success.
"It�s really important to find out what type of student you are, when you are the most alert and focused. Are you a morning person or a night person? It�s best if you can find this out in middle school or high school. When I was in high school, some of my friends stayed up late at night to study. I thought if I wanted to do well, I had to do that, too. Then I realized I�m very much a morning person. I�m much more productive and alert in the morning. What works best for me is to go to sleep early so I can be up early to study before everyone else is up and the house is so quiet."
nother big factor for a student to consider is whether he or she studies better when it�s quiet or with background noise. If music is a help, is classical music or some other type better?
Tiffany studies best with no background noise.
"I find a quiet spot in the library," Tiffany said.
It�s important for students to know they don�t have to go it alone. Recognizing academic weaknesses is as important as knowing strengths.
"You may want to be the perfect student, but everyone has weaknesses. Knowing your weakness will help you academically and in the real world," Tiffany said.
It�s important to know where and when to get help.
"A huge thing is not being afraid to ask for help. I loved the one-to-ones with teachers before or after school," Tiffany said. "Building relationships with teachers is important so the teachers knows how hard you are trying. All of them love their profession and want to educate youth. They want their students to do well."
A good question to ask a teacher when classes first start is how the teacher tests, whether tests are based more on class notes or on the textbook. This way a student can better prepare for tests, Tiffany said.
When a class is especially challenging, there is strength in numbers.
"One class I have requires a lot of reading, so we formed a study group to talk about the information we read," Tiffany said.
As part of the process of competing to be Miss Massachusetts USA, Tiffany learned to take healthy risks. Tiffany spent a lot of time going to businesses getting a solid amount of sponsors.
"It is expensive to be in a pageant. It isn�t something that I wanted to ask of my parents. I went to local businesses, asking them to put their faith in me. I let them know how much I supported their business in the past and asked for their support now. Every time I walked into a business, I knew it was a 50-50 chance, but this was a risk I took," Tiffany said.
The process of preparing for her role as Miss Massachusetts USA is ongoing. Tiffany works out to keep physically fit and keeps up on current events.
"If I am to be a role model, I want to be able to represent the state well and show I care about what is going on at home and outside the state," Tiffany said.
Even though her reign doesn�t officially begin until January, Tiffany isn�t waiting until then to start making a difference. Next Friday, Dec. 15, Tiffany will be on a Radio-Thon for the Make A Wish Foundation. The organization is especially close to Tiffany�s heart, because her younger sister Vanessa is a cancer survivor. Last year, Make A Wish made Vanessa�s dream of going to Hawaii come true by sending the family for a vacation in Maui.
"I love Make A Wish. They take such wonderful care of the patients and their families," Tiffany said.
Tiffany is also is looking forward to working with Dana Farber and local charities such as the Doug Flutie Foundation, Head Start, My Brother�s Keeper, and DOVE.
"I just really want to get involved," Tiffany said.
Tiffany will begin her role as Miss Massachusetts USA less than a month from now.
"I can�t wait to see what the rest of the year holds. I can�t wait to start helping out with charities. I�m going to work hard to represent my state well and also for Braintree, because this is where I have my roots," Tiffany said.
Taking the stage as Miss Massachusetts USA will be an even greater opportunity for growth than taking the stage in the pageant.
"Someone said you are a different person when the year ends than when it began. There will be life lessons to learn all year long," Tiffany said.
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